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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Centaurea L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Temp. & Subtropical Old World.


    Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

    Perennial or annual herbs (shrubs), hirsute-scabridulous or tomentose-araneose, often with sessile glands, rarely glabrous.
    Leaves alternate (or radical), entire, dentate or sometimes pinnatilobed (spiny), bases sometimes decurrent on the stem.
    Capitula solitary (or paniculate), heterogamous, radiant.
    Involucre ovoid-subglobose, hemispheric or nearly cylindric, araneose or glabrous; phyllaries many-seriate, imbricate, coriaceous, with a ± patent pectinate or spinose appendage.
    Receptacle densely setose, the setae smooth and twisted.
    Florets tubular, the outer series neuter sometimes with staminodes, the inner florets hermaphrodite; corollas whitish, purple, pink, blue or yellow, slender tubular below, dilated and deeply 5(8)-lobed above; anther bases sagittate, adjacent lobes connate into a short or long tail; style 2-branched, abruptly swollen below the branches with a ring of hairs at or below the swelling; the branches erect, long somewhat flat and ± connate, diverging only near the tips.
    Achenes oblong or obovoid, ± laterally compressed, apex rounded to truncate, glabrous when ripe, attachment-scar lateral-oblique, ± concave.
    Pappus many-seriate of unequal barbellate (or plumose) scale-like setae, persistent (caducous or absent).

    Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Herbs or subshrubs
    Leaves alternate, usually dissected
    Capitula solitary or corymbose, heterogamous and disciform or radiant, or homogamous; phyllaries multiseriate, with fimbriate appendages; receptacle densely setose
    Florets with linear, sagittate anthers, with distal lanceolate appendage; style shortly bifid, abruptly swollen below the branches and with a ring of hairs at or below the swelling
    Achenes somewhat compressed; pappus generally double.



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Altay, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Central African Repu, Central European Rus, Chad, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf States, Hungary, India, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuwait, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Oman, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Selvagens, Senegal, Sicilia, Sinai, South European Russi, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Western Sahara, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Amur, Arizona, Arkansas, Bolivia, Brazil South, British Columbia, Buryatiya, California, Cape Provinces, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Is., Florida, Free State, Føroyar, Georgia, Greenland, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honduras, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jawa, Juan Fernández Is., Kamchatka, Kansas, Kentucky, Khabarovsk, Korea, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Louisiana, Magadan, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Mozambique, Nebraska, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, Newfoundland, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Provinces, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Peru, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Sakhalin, Saskatchewan, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Uruguay, Utah, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Western Australia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Yukon

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Centaurea L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Rico, L. [1947], Morocco K000564871
    Day, C.D. [899], Turkey K000341625


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 909 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Nagaresh, K. & Rahiminejad, M.R. (2018). A revision of Centaurea sect. Cynaroides (Asteraceae, Cardueae-Centaureinae) Phytotaxa 363: 1-131.
    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Philipson in J. Bot. 77: 227 (1939).
    • —F.T.A. 3: 436

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bull.22: 134 (1968).
    • Philipson in Journ. Bot. 77: 227–233 (1939).
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 389 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 2: 909 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K. Bremer, Asteraceae Clad. & Class.: 151 (1994)
    • Philipson in J.B. 77: 228 (1939)
    • Sp. Pl.: 909 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.